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Fail Your Way To Success – Three Thoughts To Ponder

Written by: Bernice Fabi, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


“Can we stop and watch?” My daughter asked. We’d been shopping in the big local mall when she asked if we could stop and watch a group of teenaged figure skaters practice at the center ice arena. I’m more the type to take in an event as I continue walking past, most often with a list of things on my mind. This time was different as I heard a voice speak to my heart. Okay, I’ll admit it. Her request was an interruption for me but my heart said don’t ignore it.

two beautiful girls figure skating on ice rink with female coach.

We leaned up against the glass railing one floor above the arena. It was a perfect aerial view. I actually put my bags down to join other onlookers around the arena. We watched for fifteen minutes or so, occasionally commenting to each other but for the most part, silently absorbed in our own worlds enjoying the show. We were lost in the moment.

What I saw and what I learned was worth admission. Several coaches were working individually with skaters in this advanced group. They’d talk for a bit with a lot of hand gestures often accompanied by a bit of fancy footwork. Then off the skaters would gracefully go to fine tune a skill. The group skated around each other in every direction practicing impressive jumps, landings, spins and spirals, all impressive moves I don't know the names of. I admired every skater out there, giving it their all, each putting on their own show to their own music. They skated confidently, gracefully and intentionally, sometimes barely avoiding other skaters but they did. What caught my attention most was what I noticed next.

More than occasionally a skater would fall and just as eloquently as they fell, he or she would get back up as if nothing happened and continue on. They would skate around poised and confident, generating momentum, and try again. Their rhythm was disrupted for only a split second it seemed, as if the fall was part of the dance. It was actually mesmerizing until we were brought back to the world of the noisy mall and the shopping we had left to do.

I came away with a few thoughts relating to risk and failure and success and the possibilities that could exist for us if we consistently took on an intentional and challenging approach to the opportunities that exist for us and the attempts we make in life:

What if we trusted ourselves to jump higher and further all the time? It seems we’re afraid to take the big leaps and even hesitate to take baby steps sometimes. When we watch toddlers learn to walk or young children learn to skate, they don’t know fear. They’re enthusiastic! They fall. They get up. They fall again. They get back up. This happens a thousand times over. And yet as adults, it seems we’re afraid to lose our dignity if we should ever trip or fall. Think of the absurdity. Seriously, to be less valued and respected because we made a mistake. So what! I say take the big leaps in life. Take the big jumps. If you’re going to fall at least you fall really trying something big or taking a big risk. How empowering is that?

Wouldn’t it be liberating to pick ourselves up as if no one noticed and continue on as if the lesson learned was that in itself, just a lesson learned? I couldn’t help but notice each of the skaters and their ease of presentation. Despite whether they had just fallen or landed a terrific jump, their entire bodies radiated a sense of calm and confidence with who they were. Any falls were almost as if they were part of the show. We all have that ability to embody the same confidence. How many times in life do we degrade ourselves or doubt who we are because we falter? Failure then seems to become an embarassing end word. We struggle and thrash around and often sit on the ground wounded and done. Think of the skater, or any trained athlete for that matter or successful individual. How many times have they failed and gotten right back up. I’ll guarantee it’s quite a few. We actually admire them for trying and trying again and never think any less of them.

What if we could just keep practicing at falling and getting back up? Everyone of the skaters we saw that day started off as beginners.They fell hundreds of times and probably collided more than just the near misses we witnessed that day. I imagined that they needed someone to help them get up in those early days, brush them off and maybe tend to wounds. Now these advanced skaters fell and you barely noticed as it became only a blip of imperfection. So it is with life. We all admire those that seem to have it all together but it’s only because they practiced enough that we hardly notice mistakes they make. Yet, they still do and they continue to do so. What if we could just keep practicing at falling and getting back up?

Think about these ideas and how they relate to success in general. What if you strove consistently so high that you just expected you were going to fall or fail? That would mean you would be jumping higher and further all the time because you would get more proficient each time. Not only would you be practicing falling continuously over and over and getting comfortable with the thought, so would getting back up also become easier and easier each time. And further, consider the progress you would make versus thinking about and only taking the baby steps. Think of the confidence you would gain because you would keep proving to yourself and the world that you could get up. Falling would become, like it is for the skater, just a small imperfection in the perfection of life. We do in fact learn the most from our biggest mistakes so why not make more of them.

“To view success as imperfection rather than perfection is the greatest view.”

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Bernice Fabi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Bernice Fabi is a certified Life and Empowerment Coach for women. She also applies mental fitness into her programs for a truly life changing experience. Always an eager life student, Bernice brings an array of experience to her coaching practice including a lengthy financial career and as an entrepreneur in real estate investment and management.

Bernice helps women overcome limiting beliefs and realize their potential. In doing so, they make choices to live an extraordinary and purposeful life.



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